Study findings suggest that 25-OH vitamin D levels <30ng/mL “may have a modest impact on the severity of influenza-like illness (ILI) in healthy adults,” researchers reported at IDWeek 2015.

Otherwise healthy adults (n=682) across 5 U.S. military medical treatment facilities presenting within 72 hours of symptom onset were recruited in the prospective longitudinal study of ILI. Patient 25-OH vitamin D concentrations were obtained from acute serum samples and classified as “sufficient” (≥30ng/mL), “insufficient or deficit” (<30ng/mL), or “deficient” (<15ng/mL).

“The prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency over a wide geographic network was very high in our otherwise healthy adult population with ILI,” study author Matthew Robles, DO, reported. Nearly 78% of enrolled adults (529/682) had vitamin D concentrations <30ng/mL, including 133 patients who were vitamin D deficient.

Continue Reading: MPR

Vitamin C 'as effective as exercise' for obesity vascular health

September 6th, 2015

The study of 35 obese or overweight adults compared the effects of vitamin C and exercise on the protein known as endothelin-1, which has a constricting action on small blood vessels.

The 35 sedentary, overweight/obese adults completed 3 months of either the supplementation (20 participants) or aerobic exercise training (15 participants).

The researchers found that daily supplementation of vitamin C at a time-release dose of 500 mg daily reduced endothelin-1-mediated vessel constriction as much as walking did.

Read more: Medical News Today

Research Abstract

A new study in Nutrition Journal shows that patients suffering from systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) demonstrated significant improvement by taking fish oil supplements.   This is a well-studied clinical topic, but the results so far have been mixed.

One clinical trial evaluated the effect of fish oil on flow-mediated dilation, disease activity, and fasting lipid panel and found negative results in all but LDL elevation in the fish oil group. Another study, however, showed that SLE patients given fish oil had improved flow-mediated dilation, disease activity, and 8- isoprostanes. An earlier study, also in Nutrition Journal, found a possible mechanism for omega-3 fatty acids’ anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Disease activity improved in patients receiving fish oil as compared to placebo. The latest study was comprised of 50 patients with SLE in outpatient clinics (32 of whom completed the study), randomized to fish oil supplementation or olive oil placebo and blinded to their treatment group... 

See more at: HCP Live

Article Abstract

Low vitamin D may increase risk for multiple sclerosis

August 26th, 2015

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked with an increased risk of developing multiple sclerosis, researchers found in a new study.

Previous studies have indicated that insufficient levels of vitamin D in MS patients are common. The researchers said, however, this is the first study to show the deficiency increases risk for the disease, and that increasing levels of vitamin D may help to lower the risk.

 After establishing four genetic variants associated with lower vitamin D levels, the researchers conducted a genome-wide study using health data on 14,498 people with MS and 24,091 people without the disease. They found that a genetic decrease of the natural use of vitamin D could be linked to a doubling of the risk for developing MS. The researchers wrote that, based on this, increasing vitamin D levels by 1.5 times in a patient should reduce the risk of MS by 50 percent.


Research Abstract

Monday, August 17,2015

A growing body of peer-reviewed studies shows little to no measurable health benefits for the taking of common store-bought vitamins or multivitamins in otherwise healthy people.

For those who are really low on a certain vitamin, a pill can help to shore up the deficiency, and most family physicians won't discourage taking multivitamins because there are few risks.


Vitamin D is crucial to bone health, but it also helps prevent or slow the spread of a surprising number of diseases and conditions, from multiple sclerosis to cancer. No matter how healthy your diet, you can’t get enough from food. And Canadians live too far north to deliver enough ultraviolet light from the sun, which produces most of our vitamin D.

Based on my research, I recommend that all adult Canadians take 2,000 IUs of vitamin D per day, and children should take at least 400 IUs in the winter. Those with darker skin are particularly at risk for low levels of D because darker skin absorbs less ultraviolet light from the sun. This is especially true when social stigma plays a role: it’s rarely talked about in public, but non-white people often tell me they avoid the sun because they don’t want to be darker.

Health Canada still recommends only 600 IUs a day, based on the belief that we only need a blood test result of 50nmol per litre. But is this optimal? Studies of lifeguards and people who live traditional ways of life in Africa show natural blood levels of vitamin D that are more than twice as high. Taking 2,000 IUs of vitamin D should raise your blood serum levels to about 80 nmol/L — still far lower than an outdoor lifeguard, who typically hits 130 nmol/L.

Toronto Star